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New Executive Director

New Executive Director of The Lake County Community Foundation Joins Small Group of Latinas in Executive Positions

October 15, 2008, Waukegan—The Lake County Community Foundation, an affiliate of The Chicago Community Trust, announced the appointment of Sylvia M. Zaldivar-Sykes as the Foundation’s executive director effective October 15, 2008. The five-year old community foundation was established to meet the charitable needs of the fast-growing communities of Lake County, Illinois.

Zaldivar-Sykes replaces the foundation’s previous executive director, Betsy Dietel, who led the foundation for three years. “The Board of Directors will miss Betsy who set a high bar for future executive directors,” says Kitty Lansing, The Lake County Community Foundation board chair. “Sylvia brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to our organization. She understands the needs of the communities, has established relationships with the donor community and the not- for-profit sector in addition to being a passionate advocate for the work of The Lake County Community Foundation.”

“Through my role at The Chicago Community Trust I’ve had the privilege of serving The Lake County Community Foundation as its program officer for almost four years. I am humbled by the confidence the board has placed in me to lead this extraordinary organization,” says Zaldivar- Sykes. “The Lake County Community Foundation has evolved into a beacon of hope for our residents and I am excited to lead the effort to promote the foundation’s unique ability to serve this community.”

Zaldivar-Sykes joined the Trust in 2005 as the assistant director of donor services before moving to the Trust’s program area. During her tenure, in addition to carrying a grant making portfolio in Community Development and Basic Human Needs, she managed the Trust’s diversity focused funds; Nuestro Futuro and The African American Legacy Initiative. In addition to serving as a program officer to The Lake County Community Foundation, she assisted The Will County Community Foundation in launching its inaugural grant cycle in 2007.

Zaldivar-Sykes holds master’s degrees from Illinois Institute of Technology in Rehabilitation Counseling and from Loyola University in Philanthropy and the Nonprofit Sector. Zaldivar- Sykes has over 20 years of experience in juvenile justice, child welfare, and career counseling and training. As a Cuban-American from an immigrant family, she is concerned with issues facing Latinos. She has worked as a consultant to not-for-profit agencies throughout Metropolitan Chicago assisting organizations build their capacity to serve immigrant communities through the creation of new programs and collaborations. Zaldivar-Sykes resides in Arlington Heights with her family, where she is an active member of ABC/25 Foundation and St. James Parish.


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About The Lake County Community Foundation
The Lake County Community Foundation, an affiliate of The Chicago Community Trust, is the vehicle that builds strategic alliances and educates donors about the challenges in the county, helping develop simple, powerful and personal approaches to giving throughout Lake County. Since 2004, the foundation has awarded grants totaling more than $1 million to 55 Lake County not-for-profit organizations. Learn more at

About The Chicago Community Trust
For 93 years, The Chicago Community Trust has connected the generosity of donors with the needs of the community by making grants to organizations working to improve metropolitan Chicago. With assets of $1.8 billion, the Trust made a record-breaking $114 million in grants in 2007. From strengthening community schools to assisting local art programs, from building health centers to helping lives affected by violence, the Trust works to enhance our region. Learn more at